The Bickerstaffe Record

Being Labour

Is this the wrongest press release ever?

03.29.11 | Comment?

This press release from West Lancs Toryland has to be one of the wrongest things I’ve ever seen:

People earning a median annual wage locally of £21,529 will be handing over £1,400 (6.5%) of their taxes just to pay off the huge debt left by the previous Labour Government……it is wrong that local families’ hard-earned taxes are going into the pockets of bankers in debt interest rather than into schools, hospitals and protecting the vulnerable.

 I actually feel quite sorry for whoever cooked that up and thought it sounded like a plausible attack on Labour.

Let’s leave aside the simple fact that the if you earn £21,529 then 6.5% of your tax bill is not £1,400, because £1,400 is actually 6.5% of the gross annual wage.  Heh, we all make mistakes in a hurry.

Let’s also leave aside the apparent assumption that the only tax receipts government gets are from income tax, whereas in fact the latest Office for Budget Responsibility figures show that income tax makes up only around 28% of all tax take.  That’s quite complicated, clearly.

Let’s leave aside that debt interest is often not paid to banks, but often ends up in things like insurance and pension funds, so is effectively owned by us anyway.  That’s much too complex.

Let’s just focus on the main contention that debt interest payments as a percentage of average wages are very high…..

Which means that, by the Tories’ very own measure, Tories are less electable than Labour: debt interest payments as a percentage of GDP (and by proxy as a percentage of wages) were always higher between 1979 and 1997 than they were under Labour 1997-2010:




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